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Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA)

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This pocket guide is designed to help federal judges manage the increased number of class action cases filed in or removed to federal courts as a result of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA). It includes a section on determining federal jurisdiction that incorporates case-management practices and judicial interpretations of CAFA. It also includes suggestions for judicial review and administration of class settlements, especially regarding the disclosure of claims rates and actual payments to class members. This third edition includes an expanded treatment of the notice and claims processes. Revisions are concentrated in parts III and IV.

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This pocket guide is designed to help federal judges manage the increased number of class action cases filed in or removed to federal courts as a result of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA). This second edition includes a new section on determining federal jurisdiction that incorporates case-management practices and judicial interpretations of CAFA. This edition also includes suggestions for judicial review and administration of class settlements, especially regarding the disclosure of claims rates and actual payments to class members.

Superseded by Managing Class Action Litigation: A Pocket Guide for Judges, Third Edition (2010).

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The preliminary findings presented in this report suggest that, in diversity class actions, there is less to class allegations than one would expect. There was relatively little motions activity in the typical case, and the majority of cases not remanded to state court were voluntarily dismissed. Most plaintiffs did not move to certify a class. But all class actions in which a class was certified, whether for litigation or settlement purposes, ended with class settlements.

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The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) (Pub. L. No. 109-2, 119 Stat. 4 (2005)) expanded the federal courts' diversity of citizenship jurisdiction over class action litigation. Congress's intent was, in part, to shift some class action litigation from the state courts to the federal courts. Passage of the Act sparked concerns about the impact of these additional class actions on the federal courts' rocedures and workload. In light of these concerns, the Judicial Conference's Advisory Committee on Civil Rules (Advisory Committee)1 asked the Federal Judicial Center (FJC) to study the impact of CAFA on the federal courts. This report marks the end of the first phase of the FJC study on the impact of CAFA on the number of class actions initiated in the federal courts. This report presents interim findings on class actions filings and removals in the federal courts from July 1, 2001, through June 30, 2007. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that CAFA has caused an increased number of class actions based on diversity of citizenship jurisdiction to be filed in the federal courts.

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The Federal Judicial Center has undertaken a long-term study of the impact of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) on the resources of the federal courts. This progress report on the impact of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 was presented to the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules on November 8, 2007. The report presents an account of the progress of this long-term study as well as new information on class action activity in California and new data on consumer protection class actions and remand rates for removed cases.

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The Federal Judicial Center has undertaken a long-term study of the impact of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) on the resources of the federal courts. The third interim report was delivered to the committee on April 16, 2007 for discussion at its April 19 meeting and reports on the results of statistical tests of the impact of CAFA on federal courts across the country.

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The Impact of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005: Third Interim Report to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules.

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The Federal Judicial Center has undertaken a long-term study of the impact of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) on the resources of the federal courts. This second interim progress report was presented to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules on September 7, 2006, and reports on the results of statistical tests of the impact of CAFA on federal courts across the country.

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This interim progress report on the impact of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 was presented to the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules on May 22, 2006. The report examines class action filing trends from July 1, 2001 through June 30, 2005 in three federal district courts and includes data on the first four months after CAFA went into effect. Future reports will present the results of statistical tests of the impact of CAFA on federal courts across the country.

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This article presents a post-Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA) discussion and analysis of data presented previously in An Empirical Examination of Attorneys' Choice of Forum in Class Action Litigation (FJC 2005). Data originated from a national random survey of 728 attorneys who represented plaintiffs and defendants in 621 closed class action cases. New discussion centers on the assumptions underlying CAFA about differences in federal and state court treatment of class actions. New data are presented on the types of cases (nature of suit) and the state of filing for survey cases that were originally filed in state court. From 81 Notre Dame Law Review 591 (January 2006).

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